Pelsall Road, Walsall

Project: Pelsall Road, Walsall

Walsall Council is trialling Ultracrete’s coverTEC®, a durable yet lightweight range of composite manhole covers and frames, on a busy stretch of the Pelsall Road in Walsall.

Walsall Council had been experiencing problems with reoccurring failures with a particular manhole cover largely due to its location; directly in the wheel tracks of the traffic on the A4124. It had already been replaced twice over the past 12 months at a cost of £1200 to the council.

Ultracrete recommended the installation of their coverTEC® class D400 vehicular access cover to resolve the issue.

The cover is an ideal solution for problem areas such as those exposed to heavy trafficking and prone to repetitive failures. The cover is made from a glass resin instead of conventional metal, and is therefore very lightweight, which helps reduce manual handling. It is extremely robust and will not break under normal service loads. The frame is designed with a torsion tube which prevents movement and distortion from the eccentric forces that are a major cause of wear and tear, and the annoying rattle as traffic passes over. Its design ensures the surrounding concrete structure is maintained in compression, which prevents displacement and cracking.

The coverTEC® frame and cover were installed using materials from Ultracrete’s Manhole Reinstatement System, independently tested and HAPAS Approved by the BBA. This included Envirobed HA104® high performance bedding mortar, which exceeds HA104 requirements, achieving a superior compressive strength of 51.N/mm² and a tensile strength of 5.8N/mm² in just 3 hours, and QC10 F Flowable Fast Set Rapid Strength Concrete, a two-part polymer and fibre modified concrete which was used for backfill around the frame. It achieves a compressive strength of 20N/mm² after 90 minutes, and provides a solid restraining course. A tack coat was applied to the joints before hot rolled asphalt was used as a surface finish.

Recent spates of manhole cover theft in the locality have also been causing disruption and putting financial strain on the Council. coverTEC® is made from an advanced composite structure, has no scrap value and can’t be melted down or reused. It offers substantial savings to its end user, not just because of its limited appeal to metal thieves but its longevity eradicates the maintenance and replacement costs synonymous with traditional manhole covers.

Walsall Council are hopeful they have found the solution that will sustain and make their roads safer for all users as well as reducing the financial burden recent maintenance issues have caused. They are trialling coverTEC® for a period of 6 months with a view to installing it in heavily trafficked locations and those prone to high risk e.g. theft, thereafter.